Critical training to better protect, support, and heal vulnerable children




For a lot of the children, the displacement itself is a stressor. It's a big shift for them. Anybody that has children will tell you that kids thrive with consistency and structure.

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As soon as they are displaced, and in a situation that's not usual for them or they're not used to, that can cause a lot of stress for them. That's going in and of itself to change their nutrient needs. It's going to change their ability to thrive in that environment.

From a physiological perspective, if you're changing their exposures and their environments, you might have new things to consider in terms of what they might need in this new environment. You have to rethink what they want.

Children are very resilient. They will thrive in any environment. They often will play, will make do, and make the best out of whatever's handed to them.

Sometimes they're not necessarily showing you everything that's happening for them. It's not an obvious change that's happening to them. Because of their playfulness. Because they're trying to make the best of a situation.

We have to, as the adults, look a little bit further.


Lara Zakaria, RPh MS CNS CDN

Lara Zakaria is a Syrian-American pharmacist and clinical nutritionist residing in New York City. She owns Foodie Farmacist LLC, an integrative medicine, nutrition, and genomics consulting practice focused on prevention and reversal of chronic disease. An active member of...

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The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Tristate Chapter, she is also honored to serve on the national Board of Directors.

Her ground experience includes participating with multidisciplinary medical teams serving displaced refugees and underserved local communities in Jordan and Lebanon. Lara also serves on several advisory committees including the Jordan Relief Committee (including the Za’atri Clinic Advisory Commission), Advocacy, and as chair of the Pharmacy and Nutrition Committee. Lara is an active advocate for awareness of the Syrian Crisis and medical worker safety, meeting with representative of the United Nations and of the US congress and senate, as well as in presenting SAMS work at various universities and roundtable discussions including the University of Michigan, Columbia University, CUNY Medical School, and New York University Medical and Law School.

Lara is currently a graduate student at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, and a candidate for a Masters in Public Health with a special interest in Behavioral and Social Health.


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